Kansas is Important for Republican Candidates

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With the Republican nomination for president still wide open following Super Tuesday, every little bit counts for the candidates when it comes to party convention delegates.

That means there are several factors that make Kansas an important state to win. The state's executive director of the Republican party says a Kansas win could be a big step towards the Republican nomination. Mitt Romney had six wins on Tuesday, Rick Santorum ad three and Newt Gingrich had one. Many say there's still no clear front runner.

"After Super Tuesday the race is still open," said Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party. "There's no clear leader. Though Mitt Romeny's ahead Gingrich and Santorum are still within striking distance."

Ron Paul failed to place in Super Tuesday's race but he's still on the hunt for delegates. Kansas has 40 up for grabs.

"If you want a comparison Florida only had 50-delegates, and Iowa and New Hampshire put together had 40-delegates," said

Because of the way the state conducts its caucuses, Barker says a candidate could take those 40 delegates to the bank.

"TheĀ  votes bind our delegates to a particular candidate," he said. In other states like Iowa and Nevada for instance the vote is really a straw poll, and they don't bind their delegates until much later in the year."

Later in the year is when Barker says we could be congratulating the winner of Saturday's Kansas caucuses.

"If they win Kansas, it would be a big step to becoming the republican party nominee in August at the national convention," he said.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich recently cancelled visits to Kansas. Ron Paul has several appearances scheduled for Saturday. Rick Santorum has a return visit for Friday.

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